So, what’s the latest on the overwhelmingly approved measure to legalize medical marijuana?
Um… what was that again?
I said… oh, never mind:
The state’s largest physicians organization decided Saturday that it will not push to delay a new law allowing the medical use of marijuana. Instead, the group will lobby for tighter protections for doctors whose patients want to use the drug.
The Massachusetts Medical Society also will advocate to include medical marijuana patients in an online state database that helps doctors and pharmacists monitor over-prescribing of addictive drugs.
Some groups, including the Massachusetts Municipal Association, are calling for the Legislature to postpone the medical marijuana law, which takes effect Jan. 1. During a two-day meeting of the medical society attended by several hundred doctors, some physicians urged the organization to do the same, but ultimately, they decided the voters had spoken.
“The voters want it and our patients want it,” said Dr. Eric Ruby, a pediatrician in Taunton. “You cannot put the Massachusetts Medical Society above the law.”
Great! Glad to hear it. Then lemme have a dime bag of Acapulco Gold.
Wait? What’s that? Some people think they are above the law?
A measure to legalize medical marijuana in Massachusetts may have won decisive support at the ballot box this election, but communities across the Boston area are rushing to craft zoning regulations to limit where the drug dispensaries can be located, or in some cases ban them altogether, before the new law takes effect in January.
Two suburbs north of Boston, Wakefield and Reading, have approved local bans, and nearby Melrose and Peabody are considering similar steps. Many other communities, including Framingham, Quincy, and Boston, are studying restrictions.
The quick and widespread response reflects concern with the potential impact of the shops, from increased crime to an influx of recreational users. While voters clearly want patients to benefit from the use of medical marijuana, local officials say, they also want the centers to stay clear of residential and business areas.
“Voters sent a clear message that as a policy, sick people should be able to use marijuana,” said Brian Palmucci, a city councilor in Quincy who is proposing a bylaw that would keep the centers away from neighborhoods and schools. “But it’s our job at the local level to set some reasonable standards as to where they go. They have the potential to have negative consequences on the area if it’s not done the right way.”
If they criminalize medicinal marijuana, then only sick criminals will have marijuana!
Boston City Councilor Rob Consalvo said he expects several privately run centers will try to open in the city, and hopes to pass a zoning bylaw to restrict them from residential and central business districts.
“We need to be prepared for this,” Consalvo said. “Right now, there’s nothing in the code to address this. And if there’s nothing that says ‘It can’t go here,’ someone will try. Why not nip this in the bud?”
Ha! He made a funny! Bud, get it?
But if these head shops (sorry, “centers”) can’t go in residential and central business districts—or near schools and “neighborhoods”—where’s a chemo patient going to get his weed?
The public health department has not provided details about how it will regulate the new system, but said in a statement it will “work closely with health care and public safety officials to develop smart and balanced policies and procedures.”
Oh yeah, government excels at that. This oughta be good. Way to go, Massachusetts voters. Given whom you elect, we always suspected you were high. But this wasted? You amaze even us.